the Kyogoku clan (京極氏)

The Kyogoku clan is a house of Samurai in Japan. The real family name is the Minamoto clan. The family is a branch family of Sasaki clan of the Omi-Genji (Minamoto clan) who are descendants of Uda-Genji (Minamoto clan).


The original forefather of the Kyogoku clan, the Sasaki clan, was in Omi Province before the Kamakura period, and was also called Omi-Genji. The family head of the Sasaki clan that had been appointed as Omi Shugo (Military Governor of Omi Province) during the Kamakura period over generations, Nobutsuna SASAKI divided Omi Province into four to order his four sons to inherit them, respectively. The family whose original forefather is Ujinobu SASAKI who was the forth son and inherited six counties of Takashima, Ika, Azai, Sakata, Inugami and Aichi in Gohoku, north of lake, and Takatsuji KYOGOKU's mansion in Kyoto was later called the Kyogoku clan. Incidentally, the third son Yasutsuna SASAKI, who inherited Gonan, south of lake, inherited the head family of Sasaki and became the original forefather of the Rokkaku clan.

The great success of Doyo SASAKI (Takauji KYOGOKU) who served Takauji ASHIKAGA, brought prosperity during the Muromachi period as Shugo Daimyo (Japanese territorial lord as provincial constable) and one of Shishiki (Four major feudal lords who worked for Muromachi bakufu). After the turmoil of the Onin War the Kyogoku clan was on the wane because of the in-house conflict for the family estate and the rise of Azai Clan, but Takatsugu KYOGOKU and the Takatomo KYOGOKU brothers survived in the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States in Japan) and became the lord of Wakasa Province and the lord of Tango Province as tozama daimyo (outside lords). Each family experienced division, transfer, and deprival of their domains, but both families survived through the Meiji Restoration and raised to their peers.

Gokenin (housemen; the close vassal of the shogun)

In the Kamakura period the clan was an estate steward of six counties in Gohoku, and the original forefather Ujinobu SASAKI became The High Court of Justice of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), and Munetsuna SASAKI who inherited Ujinobu, worked as an envoy at the time when the bakufu prompted the Imperial Court to pass the throne to the successor.

Shugo Daimyo

Doyo SASAKI (Takauji) who became the family head, at the end of the Kamakura period, worked as Kebiishi, officers having function of police and judge, in the Imperial court and as gosobanshu, an advisor in the Kamakura bakufu, but in 1333 when Takauji ASHIKAGA received the order from the Emperor Godaigo to topple the bakufu, Doyo contributed to it and was involved in the new administration. However, the Kenmu Restoration of the imperial government could not draw support from samurai warriors, and in 1335 when Tokiyuki HOJO and others staged the Nakasendai War and occupied Kamakura, Doyo followed Takauji and went out and made a sneak attack from behind the Tokiyuki army in the Sagamigawa River and contributed to the victory. When Takauji moved into Kamakura and began establishing the bakufu while the Imperial court sent the subjugating army led by the grand leader Yoshisada NITTA to defeat Takauji, Doyo, as the Takauji army, fought against the Yoshisada army in the Yahagi-gawa River but was defeated, and his younger brother Mitsusada SASAKI was also defeated by Yoshisada in the Tegoegawara river to once yield, but in the next battle of Hakone they fought on the side of the Takauji army that ended in victory for them. In 1338 when Takauji, who expelled Emperor Godaigo and others to Yoshino, was appointed to Shogun by Emperor Komyo of the Jimyoin Line in Kyoto and the Muromachi bakufu was opened, Doyo's contribution was recognized and he took the positions of Hikitsukeshu (trial officers), Hyojoshu (Council of State), Mandokoro (the Office of Administration), and Shugo (military governor) of Omi, Hida, Izumo, Wakasa, Kazusa, and Settsu Provinces.

In 1340, Doyo and his eldest son Hidetsuna SASAKI got angry about an incident where their subjects were beat up by soldier priests of the Imperial Court of Myohoin, who was the youngest brother of Emperor Kogen, and set fire to the Imperial Court to burn down Kennin-ji Temple. Enryaku-ji Temple requested the Imperial Court and the bakufu to sentence the two to death, but the bakufu ignored the request, and Enryaku-ji Temple strongly protested, whereby the two were temporarily exiled to Yamabe County, Kazusa Province, but it is said that they did not look like exiles since they had banquets and had women along the way.

After that, as for the battle between the North and South Courts, in 1348, Doyo participated in the battle of Shijonawate it with more than 2,000 horsemen to defeat Masayuki KUSUNOKI's army, but in the battle thereafter Doyo's second son Hidemune SASAKI was killed. In 1353, Hidetsuna who took the position of Samurai-dokoro no tsukasa (the officer of the Board of Retainers) was killed while protecting Emperor Gokogon, Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA, and others who were expelled from Kyoto, and in 1362 the hideakira SASAKI brothers, who were sons of Hidetsuna, were killed in the battle of Settsu Kanzaki-bashi bridge.

After Doyo died, the family estate was inherited by his third son Takahide SASAKI, and in the Koryaku Coup that happened in 1379 he together with Yoriyasu TOKI from Mino Province raised an army in Omi asking for the dismissal of Yoriyuki HOSOKAWA, Kanrei-assistant of Shogun to succeed.

Takahide's heir Takaakira KYOGOKU was appointed not only to the position of Shugo (military governor) of Hida Province that he inherited from his father but also to the position of Shugo (military governor) of Izumo Province and Oki Province because of his contributions to the Meitoku War wherein the Yamana clan raised an army in 1391, were recognized. In the generation of Takaakira, the Kyogoku clan became one of the Shishiki, and thereafter the family head governed Gohoku, north of lake, Izumo, Oki, and Hida, and took the position of Samurai-dokoro no tsukasa. Takaakira's younger brother Takahisa AMAKO inherited the Amako region in Omi Province and became the original forefather of the Amako clan.

Thereafter, Takamitsu KYOGOKU, Mochitaka KYOGOKU, and Takakazu KYOGOKU successively became the family heads, and they suppressed the frequently-occurring wars during the Muromachi period as Samurai-dokoro shoshi (Governor of the Board of Retainers). Mochikiyo KYOGOKU who inherited Takakazu led his 10,000 or more horsemen and belonged to the east army during the Onin War, that was caused by the conflict for the family estate within the Ashikaga Shogun family and for other reasons, from the next year he gained advantage over Takayori ROKKAKU of the west army, but during the battle he died from illness. Mochikiyo's eldest son Katskuhide KYOGOKU and Mochikiyo's second son Masamitsu were already dead at that time, and therefore Mochikiyo's grandson Dojimaru who was considered to be the heir inherited the family position as head, but he died one year after that, and there a battle broke out between Masatsune KYOGOKU and Takakiyo KYOGOKU over the inheritance.

At the beginning, Masatsune expelled Takakiyo from Omi Province thereby gaining the position of Shugo (military governor) of Izumo, Oki and Hida Provinces, but Masatsune lost the battle against the Rokkaku clan after that, and moreover although he expelled deputy Shugo of Izumo and Oki Tsunehisa AMAKO who did not obey the order of tax collection and he was deprived, in return, of Gassan Tomita-jo Castle that was a foothold in Izumo. After that, it is considered that Masatsune who was expelled from Omi after he lost the battle against Takakiyo was reconciled with Tsunehisa and lived in Izumo, and he died after he transferred his family estate to Kichidojimaru, but thereafter the whereabouts of Kichidojimaru is not known and Izumo became the territorial province of the Amako clan who became the Sengoku Daimyo; daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) in the Sengoku Period.

Takakiyo who obtained the position of the family head was in Omi, but a conflict occurred over the inheritance thereafter between Takakiyo, who backed his second son Takayoshi KYOGOKU, and Koremasa AZAI, who backed Takakiyo's first son Takanobu KYOGOKU, and Takakiyo was defeated by Koremasa and others and expelled. Soon Takakiyo was reconciled with Koremasa and came back to Gohoku, but it is considered that at this time the power to contol Gohoku was usurped by the Azai clan. However, the contol of Gohoku by the Azai, who were merely a small country clan, was not stable, and for some time after that the Kyogoku clan became respected as the ostensible Shugo (military governor) and continued. However, Takayoshi raised an army being in alliance with the Rokkaku clan when Katamasa AZAI broke the relationship with the Rokkaku clan, but in vain, whereby Takayoshi was expelled from Gohoku, and the Gohoku control by the Kyogoku clan completely ended.

Sengoku Daimyo

Takayoshi's son Takatsugu KYOGOKU first served Nobunaga ODA, but in 1582 when Nobunaga was killed by Mitsuhide AKECHI in Honnoji Incident Takatsugu belonged to Mitsuhide, and Takatsugu was expelled by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI who killed Mitsuhide at the battle of Yamazaki. However, Takatsugu was condoned becase Takatsugu's sister Tatsuko KYOGOKU became the concubine of Hideyoshi, and was given 2,500 koku in Omi Takashima county. Thereafter, koku was increased several times: two years later he was given 5,000 koku in Takashima county, and then 28,000 koku in Mount Omi-Hachiman due to his contribution to the Invasion of Odawara, and in 1595 60,000 koku in the Otsu domain of Omi Province. In the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, he first belonged to the Western Alliance, but in the middle of the battle he switched to join the Eastern alliance and entrenched himself at Otsu-jo Catsle. And he fought the severe war by locking himself and his group up in the castle against the Western Alliance of 15,000 soldiers, and at last he prevented the Western Alliance attackers from heading to Sekigahara. Because of this contributions, Takatsugu was promoted and given the Obama domain in Wakasa Province together with 85,000 koku.

Takatsugu's younger brother Takatomo KYOGOKU served Hideyoshi from the beginning, and his koku was increased to 5,000 koku of Gamo County in Omi Province in 1591, 60,000 koku of Ina County in Shinano Province in 1593, and 100,000 koku the following year. After the death of Hideyoshi, Takatomo approached Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, and because Takatomo's contributions to the battle of Sekigahara were recognized, he became the lord of a province, was allowed to call himself Lord of Tango, and was given Tango Province with 123,000 koku.

Tozama daimyo (outside lords)

Takatsugu Line (Wakasa-Kyogoku family)

Takatsugu KYOGOKU governed Wakasa Province with 92,000 koku. Takatsugu's son Tadataka KYOGOKU's koku was increased to 264,000 koku of Izumo and Oki Provinces that were the Kyogoku clan's old territories, because of the great achievement in the Osaka wars, but Tadataka suddenly died without an heir, and his matsugo yoshi (adopted as a son on his deathbed) Takakazu KYOGOKU's koku was decreased to the Tasuno domain of Harima Province with 60,000 koku, and was further transferred to the Marugame domain of Sanuki Province with 60,000 koku.

Takakazu's son Takatoyo KYOGOKU had his heir Takaaru KYOGOKU inherit 51,000 koku and his illegitimate child Takamichi KYOGOKU (the lord of Tadotsu domain of Sanuki Province) inherit 10,000 koku of the Tadotsu domain, respectively.

The Marugame domain ruled part of Omi as outland.

Takamochi line (the head family)
This line experienced the Meiji Restoration in Marugame and was raised on to the level of their peers.

Takamichi line
This line experienced the Meiji Restoration in Tadotsu and was raised on to the levels of their peers.

Takatomo line (Tango-Kyogoku family)

Takatomo KYOGOKU divided 123,000 koku of Tango Province into three: he had his heir Takahiro KYOGOKU inherit 78,000 koku of the Miyazu domain, Takamitsu KYOGOKU inherit 35,000 koku of the Tango Tanabe domain, and his adopted child Takamichi KYOGOKU (the lord of Mineyama domain of Tango Province) inherit 10,000 koku of the Mineyama domain. After that the Miyazu domain experienced punishment by removal of samurai status and expropriation of territories, but the descendants flourished as Koke (distinguished families officially selected by Edo Bakufu).

Takahiro line (the head family)
A conflict occurred between Takahiro and his heir Takakuni KYOGOKU who inherited the family estate, and in 1666 the fiefs were confiscated by the bakufu. Thereafter, Takakuni's heir Takatsuki KYOGOKU and his descendants served the bakufu as Koke.

Takamitsu line
Takamitsu's grandson Takamori KYOGOKU was transferred to the Toyooka domain of Tajima Province with 35,000 koku. Takamori's grandson Takahiro KYOGOKU died young and Kyogoku inherited 15,000 koku as matsugo yoshi (adopted as his son on his deathbed), and Takahiro experienced the Meiji Restoration to be raised to the same level as his peers.

Takamichi line
This line experienced the Meiji Restoration as Daimyo having 13,000 koku, and was raised on to the same level as their peers.

New nobility

Takanori KYOGOKU who became a peer opened a farm in Kyogoku-cho, Abuta county, Hokkaido, which later became the origin of the town's name.

[Original Japanese]